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First Time Buyer

Find the answers to all your mortgage questions
Want to buy a house, not sure what documents you need? Download the First Time Buyers Documents Checklist now!

First Time Buyer Guide

"Fixed term", "Variable rate", "Repayment", "Tenure", "LTV", "DBR" etc. Want to buy a house, but confused and put off by the jargon? Well, we hope this guide helps fill in the gaps.

Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI)

Refers to the monthly payments that you make towards repayment of the loan amount, over the term of the loan. The EMI = payment towards mortgage principal + payment of interest

Buyout/Re-Mortgage

Transferring your mortgage from one lender to another.

Early Repayment Charges (ERC)

As the name suggests, ERC refer to fees that lenders may charge you if you decide to pay off the mortgage earlier than the initial term of the loan . These charges are now regulated by the UAE Central Bank and buyers can expect to pay 0-2% of the outstanding loan amount depending on when they close their loan. The fee is 2% during the fixed rate period, and 1% during the variable rate period, and free after the 7th year of the mortgage. 

Equity

When you start paying off your mortgage, you start to build equity in the property. For example, if you’ve bought a property worth AED 1.5mn and have already paid off AED 500,000 that means you have built up AED 1,000,000 worth of equity in your property. This allows you to take either a top-up loan/equity release, which is additional borrowing on your existing loan that can be used for a variety of purposes.

Equity Release/Top-up/Additional Borrowing/Further Advance

After a mortgage has been fully disbursed, you can apply for additional borrowing at any time, subject to eligibility. You can use the built-up equity in your home to take out a loan to consolidate loans, or pay off unexpected expenses.

Loan-to-Value (LTV)

Loan-to-value refers to the percentage of the property value that the lender is willing to lend you. This is governed by the UAE Central Banks regulations, with specific details below.

CategoryProperty ValueUAE NationalsUAE Residents
First House or Owner Occupied <= AED 5m 80% 75%
Each borrower can only claim one property under this category > AED 5m 65% 60%
Second House or Investment Property All property Values 65% 60%
Property Purchased Offplan All property Values 50% 50%

Term/Tenure

This is the length of time over which you agree to pay off your mortgage. Mortgage terms/tenures are regulated by the UAE Central Bank, with a minimum period of 3 years and a maximum period of 25 years.

Mortgage Rates Types  

Fixed Rate Mortgages 
Charge a set rate of interest that does not change throughout the life of the loan. Although the amount of principal and interest paid each month varies from payment to payment, the total monthly payment remains the same.

Fixed rate mortgages are a great option for those who prefer:

  • Fixed payments - Your monthly payments will stay constant throughout the term of the fixed interest rate. 
  • Unaffected by changes in general interest rates – You are protected from sharp increases in interest rates, but also can’t take advantage of lower rates, unless you refinance.

Variable Rate mortgages
The interest rates can be changed at regular intervals (typically annually) by the lender or on the Account Review Date. This means that your monthly payments would usually change from year to year, and may decrease or increase.

Why it might be suitable for you:

  • Variable payments – Your monthly mortgage payments may change from year to year. Therefore, to avoid any unexpected surprises, you should invest time in understanding how the rate is trending.
  • Possibility of lower payments – However, since rates are variable, you may be offered a lower starting interest rate.
  • Rate calculation – Variable rates are generally linked to a standard rate, which may be a Central Bank rate, or an internal base rate set by the financial institution. If you want to be an informed borrower, it’s wise to know what your variable interest rate is based on.

Repayment Method

There are many different types of mortgage loans available, each offering different features and benefits. There are also various ways in which mortgage loans can be repaid. The type of mortgage loan that will suit you best depends entirely on your circumstances both now and in the future. 

Repayment Mortgage Loans
With a Repayment loan, your monthly instalments are made up of two elements:

  • The interest you pay on the loan
  • The repayment of the capital sum. 

The exact proportion of capital repaid in relation to interest paid is dependent on the term of the loan. A shorter term generally means that you will start to pay more capital than interest at an earlier stage.

A Repayment loan is the only option that will guarantee to repay your loan over a defined term, provided that you keep up with your payments. 

Interest-Only Mortgage Loans
With an Interest-Only loan, your monthly payments cover the interest and no capital is repaid. As you are repaying only the interest, your monthly payments are lower than a similar value Repayment loan.

However, you will need to find a way to repay the capital at the end of your Interest-Only period. An Interest-Only payment method can be selected for both under construction property phases as well as completed property phases. Please note, however, that under UAE Central Bank Regulations, Interest-Only loans can only be made available when buying the property for investment purpose with a loan period no longer than 5 years from the first drawdown date.

Insurance

Most mortgage lenders require you to have insurance. It can come in various types, and we hope the following clears up any questions.

Loan Protection Insurance/Life Insurance
For most lenders, it is mandatory to have Loan Protection Insurance (LPI) during the term of the loan, to cover the total amount borrowed. The insurance may cover a number of risks  including sickness, disability or death. The premium is typically charged monthly  and is usually added to the monthly instalment of the mortgage. Cost of the insurance depends on a number of factors, which can include age, health, lifestyle, smoking habits, or length of coverage. Most lenders will offer this insurance as part of their group policy. Alternatively, if you want to use your own insurance policy, many lenders will allow you to assign it , although there may be a fee for doing so. In addition, under certain circumstances, clients may be allowed to Opt-Out of insurance. 

Property/Buildings Insurance 
This insurance policy protects the owner in the event of certain types of damage to the property. Property insurance typically covers fire, wind, hail, theft and more. Property insurance is charged yearly and most lenders will offer this policy. Property insurance is mandatory on villas and townhouses. The recent building fires in Dubai Marina, Musaffah and Saadiyat Island have shown that property damage is a very real risk. As a result, all buyers are encouraged to check the insurance arrangements on any tower blocks where they are buying. 

Contents Insurance
This provides coverage that pays for damage to, or loss of, an individual’s personal possessions whilst they are located within that individual’s home. Contents insurance is generally not mandatory, but is offered by most lenders . Contents Insurance is especially beneficial for valuable items such as jewellery and artwork, which have unique value and are difficult to replace.

Mortgage Application Document Checklist

ALL APPLICANTS
  • Fully completed Mortgage Loan Application Form. Signatures should be the same as on passport(s) and corrections initialled
  • Fully completed Loan Protection Insurance proposal form. Signature should be the same as on passport(s) and corrections  initialled
  • Copy of a valid passport with visa page (UAE residents), Khulasat Al Qaid (UAE Nationals) and Emirates ID.
  • Copies of original 6 months personal bank statements from all transactional accounts (latest statement no older than 30 days)
  • Copies of original 3 months personal bank statements from all overseas transactional accounts (latest statement no older than 30 days)
  • Copies of original documentation confirming your current residential address (tenancy agreement, ADWEA/DEWA bill etc.)
  • If applicable, copies of original proof of any additional income received. Amounts to be corroborated on bank statements
  • If applicable, details of any current mortgage (eg. statement or a copy of the mortgage offer letter for all mortgages), including Shari’ah Mortgages and copy of original UAE National Housing Loan  confirmation. Details of any overdraft facilities approved.
  • If applicable, copy of the original clearance letter for any loans settled in the last month
  • Latest copy of credit card statements for 6 months for all credit cards (latest statement no older than 30 days)
  • Documentary proof of the source of your property down payment or copies of receipts if already paid
  • Application fee: The cheque should be issued from your personal bank account
SALARIED APPLICANTS
  • Original salary certificate and/or last 3 months salary slips (no older than 30 days). Please provide employment contract detailing salary and probationary period if you have been employed for less than 6 months.
  • If receiving bonus income: Original letter from your employer confirming bonuses paid for the past 3 years. All payments should also be seen on your bank statements.
  • If receiving commission income: Original letter from your employer confirming commission earned over the previous 24 months. All payments should also be seen on your bank statements
SELF EMPLOYED AND COMPANY OWNER APPLICANTS
  • Company profile giving a detailed view of the nature of your business
  • Copies of original 2 years audited financial accounts (most recent dated no older than 18 months) or 2 years most recent tax assessments if not audited.
  • Copy of Trade License
  • Copy of Memorandum and Articles of Association (first Memorandum and all amendments made to date)
  • Copies of original 6 months latest business bank statements (no older than 30 days) on the business transactional bank account (regardless of whether the auditor is on the ADF approved list)
  • Copies of original 12 months business bank statements on the business transactional bank account covering the trading period shown by your latest Financial Accounts (unless the Auditor is on the ADF approved list). These statements should corroborate turnover, otherwise provide a detailed explanation
NON-RESIDENTS
  • Credit Reference Agency Report from an approved Agency in the applicants country of residence (no older than 30 days)
  • Copies of original 6 months personal bank statements from all overseas transactional accounts (latest statement no older than 30 days)
  • Self-employed clients – Copies of original 2 years audited financial accounts (most recent no older than 18 months)
  • Self-employed clients – 2 years’ tax assessments signed-off by the relevant tax authority (not more than 12 months old)

PROPERTY DOCUMENTS REQUIRED (ALL APPLICANTS)

Once an Agreement in Principle has been issued or for a Full Application, the additional information stated below will be required:

FOR ALL APPLICANTS
  • Primary Market - Copy of the original Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) between Developer and buyer
  • Secondary Market - Copy of the original SPA and the original MOU (not a copy) between new buyer and seller. Where an SPA is not available (in case not provided by developer), written confirmation from the Developer is required identifying the property
  • Copy of the property floor plan
  • Title Deed (Dubai Properties only)
  • Copy of municipality map showing property location (Private Villa only)
  • Valuation Fee (if applicable): The cheque should be issued from your personal bank account
  • The property details section of the application form must be completed (if not already provided)
  • Completion Certificate (completed properties only)
  • Copy of receipts for all payments made to date (under construction properties only)
  • Copy of seller’s passport (resale properties only)
  • Authority letter to pay any existing mortgage and collect original SPA and all relevant property documents

Mortgage Loan Offer and Transfer

  1. You will be contacted by your dedicated Mortgage Advisor who will discuss the requirements for your Loan Offer and arrange to collect the documentation required.
  2. The Mortgage Advisor will meet you to explain your Loan Offer, witness your signature(s) and collect the documentation and your cheques.
  3. In cases where there is an existing liability/mortgage, the outstanding amount will be paid to the lender after which the property documents and a clearance letter will be collected by Abu Dhabi Finance
  4. We will schedule an appointment with you (and the seller if it is a resale property) at the Developer/Registration Authority for the Transfer/Registration of Mortgage Charge procedure
  5. All buyers and sellers meet our Mortgage Companion at the Developer/Registration Authority to execute the Transfer/Registration of Mortgage Charge. Any payments due are made and Guarantee Letters are handed over (if applicable).
  6. The Developer/Registration Authority will confirm to us when the Transfer is complete and issue a new Sale and Purchase Agreement/Title Deed in the name of the buyer(s)
  7. Once we received confirmation that the Transfer is completed, we will make payment to the Seller/Developer and confirm to you the payments that have been made. If the property is under construction, we will make further stage payments as agreed in the Loan Offer and the new Sale and Purchase Agreement
  8. At regular intervals, we will contact you to collect updated documents. If at any time, you have any queries regarding your mortgage, please contact our Client Service on 800 233 (Toll Free)

LOAN OFFER REQUIREMENTS

DOCUMENTS PROVIDED BY ABU DHABI FINANCE TO BE SIGNED BY YOU
  • Original Loan Offer duly signed and initialled on each page
  • Terms and Conditions which form part of the Loan Offer duly signed and initialled on each page
  • Three signed copies of the Consent to Mortgage and Charge forms in order to register the mortgage loan
  • Original letter authorising Abu Dhabi Finance to make payments on your behalf
DOCUMENTS TO BE PROVIDED BY YOU
  • Original Passport (for proof of identity to be provided during the offer signing meeting by all applicants)
  • Processing fee cheque drawn on your personal bank account (if being paid upfront)
  • Post Dated Cheques / Standing Instruction Order / Direct Debit Authority from your personal bank account for the payment of your monthly instalments
  • One undated cheque for the full Loan amount drawn on your personal bank account. In the case of more than one applicant, if you do not have a joint bank account then individual cheques for the full amount from each of your individual bank accounts will be required
  • Loan Protection Insurance Policy Premium Cheque / Opt Out Fee Cheque
  • Original Life Insurance Policy(s) covering the full Loan amount and term (115% in cases where Interest Rollup is selected) Signed Deed of Assignment for your Life Insurance Policies
    • Home Insurance Policy Premium Cheque/Original Home Insurance Policy assigned to Abu Dhabi Finance (only in the case of completed villas and townhouses)
  • Original Sale and Purchase Agreement (if not a resale or Buy Out)
  • Special Conditions as per the Loan Offer Letter
  • Original Title Deed for properties already registered with the Registration Authority
  • Confirmation of payment of your contribution
  • Confirmation of payment of any Late Payment Charges (if applicable)
ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS REQUIRED IN THE CASE OF SECONDARY MARKET TRANSACTIONS
  • Original Liability Letter from any existing lender having a charge on the property
  • If the seller has an existing mortgage, an authorisation in the form of a letter is required to allow Abu Dhabi
  • Finance to repay the seller’s mortgage and collect the original property documents (sample letter available)
  • Original Property Completion Certificate from the Developer (for completed properties only)

TRANSFER REQUIREMENTS

DOCUMENTS TO BE PROVIDED
  • Original Passport (to be provided by all the buyers and sellers)
  • Khulasat al Qaid (UAE Nationals)
  • Visa copies (for all buyers and sellers residing in the UAE)
  • Original Sale and Purchase Agreement (either in the name of the seller or seller’s lender)
  • Manager’s Cheque for the Transfer Fee – payable to the Developer/ Registration Authority
  • Manager’s Cheque for any other fee required by the Developer (including any outstanding service charge fees / late payment charges)
  • No Objection Certificate from existing lender (if applicable)
  • Manager’s Cheque for the balance of any payment due from the buyer
  • Guarantee Letter to the seller to be provided by Abu Dhabi Finance (if applicable)
  • Guarantee Letter to the Developer to be provided by Abu Dhabi Finance (if applicable)
  • Copy of the original Loan Offer to be certified and supplied by Abu Dhabi Finance
  • Place of Transfer / Registration

FAQs

What are the insurance requirements to take a mortgage with ADF ?

There are 2 types of insurance you will need to consider when purchasing a property in the UAE:

  • Building Insurance: It is mandatory for completed villas and townhouses in order to get a mortgage from Abu Dhabi Finance.
  • Loan Protection Insurance: To cover the lives of the borrowers is also required.

We strongly recommend that all clients get good contents insurance to cover their household belongings.

We would be able to help you in arranging all of these via our preferred insurance partners. However, clients are free to avail their own policies as long as they meet the loan requirements and are from a recognised and reputable insurance provider.

*Insurance assignment may attract minimal fee

How much can I borrow?

At Abu Dhabi Finance we do not have a maximum cap on the amount our clients can borrow.  However this is obviously dependent on each client’s individual financial circumstances and subject to our lending criteria.

Our products are tailored specifically to your financial needs and circumstances, and therefore in order for us to give you an accurate illustration, it would be better if a Mortgage Advisor could meet with you to discuss your exact requirements and assess your case.  Our Mortgage Advisors are available to meet you at your work, home or any other convenient location.

I have an existing mortgage in the UAE. Can I switch from my current lender to ADF? If so are there any charges / additional costs that I would have to pay?

You can transfer an existing loan to Abu Dhabi Finance so long as it meets our lending criteria.  As this would be a new application to Abu Dhabi Finance, you would be subject to application and processing fees.

Your current lender may levy fees in an effort to keep your business. However, Abu Dhabi Finance would look to see if we can add these to your new mortgage loan.

What is the interest rate?

Our interest rates depend on a wide range of factors for each specific mortgage application, such as loan amount, type of property, employment status, and financial circumstances, among others.

Will you finance unrelated parties?

At Abu Dhabi Finance, we can offer unrelated parties a joint mortgage, however in accordance with local customs, this is providing that they are of the same gender and are not intending to use the property to live in themselves.

Do I have to transfer my salary?

There is no need to change your current salary or banking arrangements, as long you have a personal bank account in the UAE.

How old do you have to be to get a mortgage?

You need to be at least 21 years old to get a mortgage and should not exceed the age of 70 for UAE Nationals  and Self-Employed and 65 for Salaried UAE Residents at the end of the Loan Term.

Can I get a mortgage for properties outside of Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi Finance offers mortgages for residential properties in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Abu Dhabi Finance may expand its offering to other Emirates at a later stage.

Does ADF offer finance for the property I am looking at buying?

ADF works with a wide variety of developers in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai.  You can refer to the full list of Developers and Developments

Please explain the mortgage process

As a first step, we would like to work with you to understand and assess your specific mortgage requirements. One of our specialist Mortgage Advisors would meet you to help you with your mortgage application.

If you have not yet identified a property we can take you through an Agreement In Principle (AIP) assessment to let you know how much we can lend you.

If you have already purchased a property, we can take you through the full application and, if successful, we can make you a formal loan offer.

After you have signed the formal offer letter a dedicated Mortgage Companion will be on hand to help and support you at every step of transfer and mortgage registration process

How many mortgages can I have?

At Abu Dhabi Finance, we can offer finance for up to 3 properties per individual client in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, depending on individual affordability and property specifications.

What are the charges and how much?

We do have a series of charges that may be levied during the course of the loan, however this is dependent on the nature of mortgage servicing requests that a particular client makes.

Click here to view our Schedule of Standard Fees and Charges.

Are you also a Bank?

No, we are a specialist conventional (non-Islamic) mortgage lender for residential and commercial property in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. For full list of Developers and Developments, please click here.

What type of finance do you provide?

We are a specialist conventional (non-Islamic) mortgage lender for residential  and commercial property in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. For full list of Developers and Developments, please click here.

Why should I choose a mortgage from Abu Dhabi Finance?

It is important for you to select the most suitable mortgage lender for your needs.

At Abu Dhabi Finance we pride ourselves on the quality of our client service. We understand that buying a property in the UAE is an important decision and that the processes can be complicated and stressful. That is why all our Mortgage Advisors have been carefully selected for their financial and real estate expertise and their dedication to the highest standards in client service. When you have any questions, our Mortgage Advisors will give you the answers you need in clear and simple terms. 

It is important that you select the right lender to ensure your mortgage is most suitable for your specific needs and requirements.  Key factors that you should consider when selecting a mortgage are quality and reliability of service, product options, and pricing and repayment options (such as Capital Repayment, Interest Only, Part and Part).

Our innovative mortgages are flexible and tailored to your needs, and so is our service. As a client of Abu Dhabi Finance, our Mortgage Advisors will be available to offer you advice and support seven days per week.

Abu Dhabi Finance, founded by some of the Emirate’s leading organisations, was launched after more than a year of research, analysis, forecasting and development and we have confidence in our robust business fundamentals.

However, no investment is entirely risk free and anyone who is thinking of getting a mortgage should assess their own financial capabilities before deciding to borrow money from any company.

What are your working hours?

We are open 5 days a week from Sunday to Thursday from 8:30AM to 5PM. We also have a team of mobile Mortgage Advisors who are available to meet you at your convenience.

What are the T&C to get the prize for filling the online application?
       
  1. You will not be entitled to receive the voucher under this campaign, if your application is rejected, or if you are
    1. an existing customer of ADF that has an essence and / or compass product; or
    2. an existing ADF customer who is upgrading his/her loan.
  2. This offer is applicable to successful completed online applications only where the source ID is ADFSMS (not an Approval in Principal), without the assistance of a mortgage advisor, on the Abu Dhabi Finance PJSC (ADF) website and for specific developments in Abu Dhabi and / Dubai.
  3.  Available for a loan amount greater than AED 1 million that is disbursed in 2016 only, the cutoff date being 31st December 2016 (the Offer Period).
  4. Only a maximum of three vouchers per customer is permitted.
  5. The voucher will be delivered in physical or electronic form (at ADF’s entire discretion) within 4 weeks from the date of acceptance by ADF of the application for the Products. At the time of delivery of the voucher, you may be required to produce a photo ID. Please ensure that your contact information with ADF is kept updated.
  6. The voucher cannot be sold, transferred, is not exchangeable for cash and is non-refundable and the original voucher can only be used once.
  7. The voucher is only valid at The One outlets in the UAE and only if the Voucher is signed and stamped by The One.
  8. Extension of validity, exchange or refunds is not permitted and is valid for one time purchase and if purchase value is less than the voucher value, balance amount will be forfeited.
  9. The One may not accept the voucher if it is defaced, damaged or altered in any way.
  10. Vouchers if lost or void cannot be replaced or redeemed.
  11. ADF is not liable in case of any dissatisfaction with regard to:
    1. delivery, service or quality of offers.
    2. your purchase, redemption and/or use of the voucher;
    3. your inability to use the voucher due to lost or forgotten or void or as a result of your giving the wrong contact information; or
    4. the use of the voucher by any person(s) not authorized or approved by you.
  12. ADF reserves the right at its absolute discretion to vary, delete or add to any of these Terms and Conditions and/or substitute or replace the voucher with another product or program of equivalent value from time to time without any prior notice.

Why Abu Dhabi Finance

Why Abu Dhabi Finance

Abu Dhabi Finance is a leading provider of innovative, flexible and transparent mortgage products and related services in the residential and commercial sectors of the UAE on behalf of Emirati and expatriate clients.

Why Abu Dhabi Finance

Our Vision

To be the most admired real estate financial services company in the UAE

Our Mission

We aim to set the standard in the real estate financial services industry by providing our clients with:

  • Expertise in the local real estate industry, based on our breadth and depth of experience
  • Transparent products and services, built on leading international standards
  • Trusted advisors throughout the real estate investment journey

About Abu Dhabi Finance

Abu Dhabi Finance is the UAE’s fastest growing leading financial services company mortgage lender, providing individuals and businesses alike with the most relevant real estate financial solutions.

Since being formed in 2008 as a private joint stock company partnership between Mubadala Development Company pjsc, Aldar Properties pjsc and ADCB, Abu Dhabi Finance has grown from strength to strength. This partnership brings years of local financial knowledge and real estate expertise, combined with the most solid financial backing in the UAE and a tangible sense of corporate social responsibility.

Abu Dhabi Finance offers innovative financial solutions ranging from residential and commercial mortgages to financial support services. This expertise, coupled with outstanding client service that sits at the heart of everything we do, has translated into numerous customer service and innovation awards since our launch. In 2013, Abu Dhabi Finance became the latest recipients of the Banker Middle East Awards, winning Best Home Finance Company and Best Home Finance Product. Abu Dhabi Finance has also won the Stevie’s Award for Customer Service and the President’s Award for Customer Experience Management for the UAE Customer Service Week STAR Awards.

In 2013, Abu Dhabi Finance expanded its footprint to Dubai, bringing its unique combination of world-class professionalism and intimate client care to the market.

We encourage our clients to aspire to the highest levels of service and to benchmark their expectations against the best internationally. It’s because we have a passion for our community and our clients that we are determined to go to extraordinary lengths to delight them and exceed their expectations.

Abu Dhabi Finance Core Values

PASSION FOR OUR CLIENTS
  • At Abu Dhabi Finance we define success through the client’s eyes:
    We go to extraordinary lengths to delight our clients and we strive to exceed their expectations
  • We are dedicated to satisfying our clients and we serve them competently, efficiently, knowledgeably, and with flair
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

At Abu Dhabi Finance, we encourage ideas that are dynamic and creative and we strive to improve:

  • We think differently
  • We do things the right way
  • We welcome the opportunity to improve and develop ourselves and others
ONE TEAM, ONE GOAL

At Abu Dhabi Finance, we are one team where every idea and every person counts:

  • We are all equal
  • We recognize and celebrate each other’s achievements
VALUING THE COMMUNITY

At Abu Dhabi Finance, people and community are served with respect

  • We are proud to support the Abu Dhabi Plan 2030, to transform Abu Dhabi to a global capital city
  • We engage in our community and we embed corporate social responsibility into our business pillars
  • We give extra attention to people and change ourselves to honor our commitments